I’ve watched the new “Coke Theft Auto” spot quite a few times, and I’m not quite sure whether it’s pure genius or pop culture cash-in, so I thought I’d post and let the collective sort it out. You can download the video from Motionographer’s article, or check the ugly compressified youtube version.

This could be considered about as much a Machinima as James Brown’s Trafalgar Square spot from a couple of years ago. They both reference a computer game, but throwing in an ad agency and a large wad of cash negates any possible “machinima” tag, I think. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Coke spot had a bigger budget than Trafalgar Square, despite the live action, trashing of cars and probably exorbitant fees to shoot at Trafalgar Square.

So if this isn’t Machinima, it’s just another big budget TV ad, and useful how? Well it did remind me of the Machinima world, which is a world which visualists should feel an affinity towards. Repurposing games old or new is a great way to get source material (Resolume’s Freeframe plugins even include a ZX Spectrum emulator). I’m feeling quite surprised that I don’t have any Quake3 samples (or at least a collection of gibbings) to keep my Tron clips company.

Has anyone been using games to produce material for their VJ sets? Mixing in video from the geeks playing Halo in the green room?

A slightly related aside: I’d love to hear any suggestions people have for alternatives to youtube or google video . Youtube is an amazing resource but their compression and implementation isn’t of the highest quality.